Fitness Instructor Pet Peeves: What Grinds YOUR Gears In Class?

Happy Friday to all!

First matter of business:  The winner of my free Luna Bar giveaway!

The winner is Jamie, who said:  “I learned that on March 20, 2012 there is going to be a LUNAFEST at Simmons College in Boston. What is LUNAFEST….. an evening celebrating women, film, and the stories that connect us all. LUNAFEST screens in over 150 cities across the U.S. and Canada and screens in front of 20,000 people – promoting women filmmakers, raising awareness for women’s issues and supporting nonprofits.”

Congratulations, Jamie!  Please email me at for directions on how to claim your prize.

Next up….

Ten Fitness Instructor Pet Peeves

1.  Oglers
Luckily for me, the classes I teach do not have too much room for large audiences.  Just the two doors with a window in each.  I don’t mind at all when people peek in to see what kind of class is going on, watch for a few minutes, or just give a smile or wave.  It’s the creepsters that sketch me out.  You know, those guys in the weight room that for some reason seem in need a drink of water after every single rep they do just to get a glimpse into the group ex studio.  Not cool!

2.  Bad Form
I pride myself in always explaining the correct form for every exercise we do in class.  Knees over ankles, not toes.  Arms in line with shoulders.  How many times do I say butts down, abs in per class you think?!  There is ALWAYS… to no fail… ONE person that just thinks the form corrections do not apply to them.  And you know what?  It’s usually THAT person that is executing the moves incorrectly.  I’ll say chest over hips, and every single other person in class will adjust, while Bad Form Bob continues on leaning far too forward and hurting his back.  Yikes!

3.  Excessive Tardiness
Rushing into a class a few minutes late.  Hitting unexpected traffic.  We’ve all been there.  Being late happens.  What I categorize under this peeve are those repeat offenders.  Coming into class once the workout is well under way is  extremely distracting to other class members, especially if there is a lot of equipment to set up.  Also, for those that arrive late – you’ve missed the warmup which is extremely important for getting heart rate up slowly to prevent injury.

4.  Chatty Cathys
This actually might be deserving of the number 1 pet peeve.  I love the gym for many reasons, including the wonderful people I have met through my classes and in the community.  I look forward to chit-chatting before and after class and having a social vibe that allows me to share a smile (or groan) with my fellow gym friends during my workouts.  But for those that talk, giggle, and have an entire conversations throughout classes – you are not working hard enough!  This is also extremely distracting and annoying to those who are focused, concentrating, and working hard. 

5.  Cell Phones
Really?  Chatting away on the elliptical?  Taking a break from squats in my class to send a text message?  It’s just not cool.  Don’t you all get enough of your cell phone the rest of the day?  Unless you have an emergency, get off the phone!

6.  Stretch Skippers
Just like the warmup is important at the beginning, so is the cooldown and stretch at the end!  I understand that in my Thursday 6am class, some of you need to scoot early in order to make it to work on time.  Understandable.  Stretch in the shower.  But there are those that skip out on stretching every single time, regardless of what class or class time it is!  You are asking for injury!

7.  Stinkers
This one goes both ways.  People who don’t wear any deodorant at all and stink up class with their stench AND people who overdo it with cologne/perfume during gym time.  Both are gross and really not so fun to breathe in on the inhale part of class exercises. 

8.  Not So Good Listeners
I teach a lot of bootcamp and classes where we do a lot of stations, circuits, and across the floor routines.  Not everyone is always doing everything at the same time!  Sometimes it takes me a few minutes to run through my instructions before we get going.  There is nothing worse than a number 4 (chatty cathy) who doesn’t pay attention and then asks you to repeat the entire thing again.  Need a clarification?  Cool.  Want a complete re-explanation?  UGH!

9.  Skipping CDS
This one is probably my fault because I still rock CDs to class.  But HOW can my CD skip when I just made it in the same day as class!?

10.  Bad Attitudes
I don’t expect any of my class participants to be perfect.  Nobody is.  What I do expect is that everyone just come in with a smile on their face and a willingness to try!

Question of the Day:  What are your pet peeves, whether as a fellow fitness instructor or as a class participant?  What about the gym in general, although that’s a post for another day, simply grinds your gears?  Do share!

Have a great weekend everyone!  I will be taking another weekend hiatus as I’m off to NYC.  Catch you Monday with the first of four posts in an exciting new blog series I’m writing for the month of December.  See you then!

You’re already at the gym… walk a little!

Hi everyone,

I am SORE!  And I can’t figure out which workout this week it’s from.  Love that.

Tonight’s Workout

1.  Elliptical Session at the Y

  • Minutes 1 – 3:  Light warmup
  • Minutes 3 – 6:  Faster jog
  • Minutes 6 – 10:  Tabata Intervals.  I wrote about these in my last bootcamp post.  I did a sprint pace for 20 seconds, jog for 10 seconds and repeated that interval 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.
  • Minutes 10 – 12:  Recovery, jog forward
  • Minutes 12 – 15:  Switch to backwards mode.  I did 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds light and repeated that interval 3 times for a total of 3 minutes.
  • Minute 15 – 16:  Switch to forward mode, fast jog for 1 minute
  • Minutes 16 – 20:  Repeat the Tabata Intervals from minutes 6 – 10.
  • Minutes 20 – 22:  Recovery, jog forward
  • Minutes 23 – 25:  Repeat the backwards intervals from minutes 12 – 15.
  • Minutes 25 – 30:  5 minute cooldown / stretching

2.  Kix class at CBC.  ROCKIN’ playlist tonight.  In case you guys have missed it, tonight is the last chance to enter for my free giveaway to win a free Kickboxing class at Corpbasics.  If you haven’t entered yet, give it a shot!  I am announcing the winner tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s Pet Peeve

When Fitness & Feta first started, one of my first posts was about Gym Characters.  You know, those stereotypes you see at the gym all the time?  Well tonight I’d like to share another little “gym character” pet peeve.  Wanna know what drives me up a wall?  Watching people drive around in circles looking for a parking spot right next to the door of the gym instead of just pulling into a spot that is WIDE open but further away from the gym entrance.  This actually bothers me regardless of where it happens (the mall, a restaurant, etc.) but HELLO!  You are at the gym.  The place you are supposedly at to work out… to burn more calories… to stay fit?  Will it really kill you to park in a spot that requires you to walk 100 more feet before you get on a machine?  I actually try to park further away from the entrance no matter where I am – the extra calories you burn each time do add up eventually!  Just a little trick.  C’mon people.  Stop being so lazy.

Tonight’s Food Post

Since I’m home so late from the gym, I didn’t have time to make an interesting dinner to write about in detail, so I’m opting to write about last night’s instead.   Tim and I took advantage of the beauty of leftovers after our respective workouts.  Over the weekend we made maple-peach glazed pork tenderloin.  We had tried this one over the summer and loved it, so we went with it again.  The leftovers were really tasty and we combined it with some homemade applesauce – made by accident when trying to prepare the shredded apple with skin ingredient for the apple streusel muffins I brought to the Cape with me this weekend.  For a side, we whipped up a new quinoa recipe that I found in one of my favorite blogs – the pumpkin quinoa recipe can be found at fANNEtastic Food.  Thanks Anne for posting this – it certainly made for a great new side dish, and with a pumpkin flavor no less.  Anyone else really obsessed with pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING right now?!  Seems like the entire blog world is – and that’s a good thing for finding so many new recipes to try!

I used a lot of the ingredients that I stalked up on in my grocery run to Trader Joe’s on Monday.

And then I just followed Anne’s directions!  The recipe was super easy, was tasty (although I think next time I’ll add in a little more pumpkin), and now I have a bunch of leftovers.  Excellent.  I had some of my leftovers tonight alongside my leftover Naked Pizza from the weekend.

Question of the Day:  What are your gym pet peeves?!

Time to face-plant!  6am class comes way too soon.  Goodnight!